PM vs. Northampton Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: PM

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing: September 21, 2007, October 12, 2007, November 16, 2007

CLOSED HEARING

ODR #7964/07-08 LS

Parties to the Hearing:

Northampton Area S.District 2014 Laubach Avenue Northampton, PA 18067

Representative: Frederick M. Stanczak,Esq. 179 North Broad Street Doylestown, PA 18901

Brian J. Ford,Esq. King,Spry,Herman,Freund&Faul, One Bethlehem Plaza,Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018-5756

Date Record Closed: December 10, 2007

Date of Decision: December 22, 2007

Hearing Officer: William F.Culleton,Jr.,Esq.

INTRODUCTION

Student (Student) is a xxx year old, (NT 9-20), eligible resident of the Northampton Area School District, assigned to the third grade. (NT 10-5 to 8.) He is identified as Other Health Impaired. (NT 10-22 to 11-3.) His Parents, Jeffrey and Coleen , requested due process, asserting that the District failed in its Child Find obligation, failed to evaluate all of his suspected areas of disability, and failed to offer an IEP that was reasonably calculated to provide meaningful educational benefit. They seek compensatory education for two school years, reimbursement for private educational evaluations, and tuition reimbursement for a unilateral placement in a private school.

The District argues that it adequately intervened through a screening program, that it did not evaluate immediately because of a meaningful response to intervention, and that it provided meaningful educational benefit notwithstanding any flaws in its IEP. It opposes equitable relief and reimbursement for both evaluation costs and tuition.

ISSUES

1. Did the District fail to identify the student as a child with a disability, during the period from July 31, 2005 until October 11, 2006, contrary to its Child Find obligations under the IDEA?

2. Did the District fail to evaluate the Student in all suspected areas of disability, during the period from October 11, 2006 until July 31, 2007, contrary to its obligations under the IDEA?

3. Was the District’s Individual Education Plan of December 2006, as amended in February and May 2007, reasonably calculated to provide meaningful educational benefit?

4. Did the District fail to offer an IEP reasonably calculated to provide meaningful educational benefit for the 2007 – 2008 school year?

5. Is the Student entitled to compensatory education for the period from the first day of school in the 2005- 2006 school year until the last day of school in the 2006-2007 school year?

6. Are the parents entitled to reimbursement for the cost of private evaluations they obtained during the period between July 31, 2005 and July 31, 2007?

7. Are the parents entitled to tuition reimbursement for the Student’s private school placement during the 2007-2008 school year?

PM-Northampton-Area-ODRNo-7964-07-08-LS

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